Virginia Commonwealth University

Risk and Protective Factor Framework

The table below provides a theoretical framework of risk reduction and protection enhancement. It has been shown that characteristics exist in individuals and their families, communities, neighborhoods, schools, etc., that increase the likelihood of negative outcomes and behaviors; these are called risk factors. The table below lists factors by "domain" and the risky behaviors impacted by each. For information on all risk and protective factors, see the Scale Definitions of Risk and Protective Factors.

  Substance Abuse Delinquency Teen Pregnancy Drop-out Violence Depression & Anxiety
COMMUNITY
Availability of drugs        
Availability of firearms        
Community laws and norms favorable toward drug use, firearms, and crime      
Media portrayals of violence          
Transitions and mobility    
Low neighborhood attachment and community disorganization      
Extreme economic deprivation  
FAMILY
Family history of the problem behavior
Family management problems
Family conflict
Favorable parental attitudes and involvement in the problem behavior      
SCHOOL
Academic failure beginning in late elementary school
Lack of commitment to school
INDIVIDUAL/PEER
Early and persistent antisocial behavior
Rebelliousness      
Friends who engage in the problem behavior  
Favorable attitudes toward the problem behavior    
Early initiation of the problem behavior  
Constitutional factors    
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